Welcome to our reflections for the season of Advent. Our first week of reflections will begin with Advent 1 and end with a Christmas reflection. You may wish to light candles at the beginning of each session as is the custom in our Church services during each week of Advent.
ADVENT 1 – WAITING
A candle burns, the first marker of our Advent journey.
As we set out, may we travel hopefully.
As we set out, God of journeys, travel with us. Amen.
Waiting can be exciting. Waiting can be worrying. Waiting can be energising. Waiting can be stressful. It all depends on what you are waiting for, how long you have been waiting and what kind of person you are.
Human life is full of waiting, waiting for trains, buses, aeroplanes. Queuing at shops – and during this pandemic, queuing outside shops etc has become the norm. Many of us have waited nervously in dentist’s, doctor’s and hospital waiting rooms. Mother’s waiting for the birth of their new baby. Students awaiting exam results that will affect their future. Yes, waiting is part of our lives, we sometimes just have to let things take their course.
Our Faith can demand long, patient waiting when nothing appears to be happening, and this is….necessary for growth….The waiting changes us, prepares us, teaches us to know and understand God.
Being a parent is a wonderful gift from God it can be joyous but also bring anxieties and worries along the way. The Bible reading you are about to read is a great example of a parent’s emotions, patience and love.
BIBLE READING – Luke 15: 11-32
The father in this story never gave up hoping that one day his son would return even though that son had caused his father so much pain and hurt. When the son returned, there was no rebuke, just celebration and joy for his return. The older son, who had remained with his father was angry and hurt because of the celebrations – he had never let his father down, always stayed loyal to him. He questioned his father. His father’s reply was of love for both his son’s, no matter what.
This is a good reminder for us that the God of Advent is like the father in this parable of the Prodigal Son, full of love and patience. We too sometimes stray away from God and waste our God given talents, sometimes not even realising that we have. We can be working so busily within our churches, engrossed in our jobs and tasks becoming tired and a little frustrated that we may forget to just stop and tell God we Love Him and just relax in God’s love for us.
TASK FOR THE COMING WEEKS
Even though Christmas is going to be a little different this year due to Covid-19, no doubt the weeks before Christmas will still be weeks of planning and preparing – try and set some time each week, wherever you may be, just to be still and quiet with God, to tell him that you Love him and to relax in the love that God has for you.
Adventure is scary and exciting, a journey into the unknown.
What dangers, what discoveries await us, wrapped in the folds of the future, we do not know.
This Advent adventure is different.
Something comes towards us through the darkness;